In the midst of worldwide change, Beau Stocker, Comox Valley music contributor and educator, quietly achieved a personal and professional milestone. Now living and teaching in the Comox Valley, Beau’s recent completion of a PhD in music (technically a ‘pass with minor corrections’ according to Beau, who is humble in his achievements) is a result of ten years’ research on two different continents, not including North America. The research project combined East African rhythms and drum kit performance, with the use of improvised music concepts.
His undergraduate studies in Toronto Ontario, at Humber College and York University, were followed by an MA in improvised music and jazz at the University of York in England. These experiences spurred the drive to seek out further sources of drumming approaches he had yet to encounter. And after an eight-month overland motorcycle trip through the Middle East and East Africa, he settled in Sudan to be immersed into the surrounding musical culture. His three years in Sudan included percussion study of South Sudanese and Ethiopian traditions, that was then followed by a move back to North Yorkshire England to begin his PhD in Music at the University of York. As performer, composer, and ensemble leader, his work at the University of York focused on a series of translations that began with the East African rhythm traditions as the source material and combined pre-planned with unplanned approaches to spontaneous compositions. This approach of new knowledge has made possible the model in which these domains of music are conflated to produce a diverse set of pieces with recurrent related themes. The range of experiences acquired through this research and travel endeavour has provided Beau with abilities and cultural inspiration that he hopes will benefit both students and fellow musicians in the Comox Valley.
For more information about studying percussion with Beau Stocker, you can contact Motif Music Studios at [email protected] or call 250-792-3065.